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Florida big man Colin Castleton will explore his NBA Draft options, continuing the exodus with the men’s basketball program.
The 6-foot-11, 221-pound Castleton, who announced his decision on Twitter, recorded consecutive double-doubles during the NCAA Tournament to culminate his first season with the Gators after transferring from Michigan.
Castleton, a 20-year-old DeLand native, did not hire an agent. This allows him to return to school if he decides professional basketball is not his best course of action.
“I look forward to receiving feedback that will make my dreams come true,” Castleton wrote.
Castleton averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds and was invaluable for a Gators’ squad lacking a presence under the basket during most of coach Mike White’s six seasons. He also recorded 54 blocked shots for the Gators, averaging 2.16 a game — the fifth-best single-season mark in school history.
White’s program has seen significant attrition since last Sunday’s heartbreaking 81-78 loss to Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles erased three double-digit deficits during the second half to advance to the Sweet 16, where they lost 72-70 Saturday to Arkansas.
Gators’ guard Tre Mann declared early entry for the draft after his sophomore season and plans to sign with an agent, precluding the projected first-round pick from returning to college. Junior shooting guard Noah Locke, who averaged 10.1 points during three seasons at UF, surprisingly announced plans to transfer for his final season.
Third-string point guard Ques Glover is leaving Gainesville after two seasons. Forward Osayi Osifo, who signed in 2020 out of Eastern Florida State College, is transferring after just one season.
Meanwhile, longtime White assistant coach Jordan Mincy is leaving to the become the head coach at Jacksonville University.
Castleton is not a highly rated prospect, but if he does not return, the Gators would return just three of their top six scorers — point guard Tyree Appleby, wing Scottie Lewis and forward Anthony Duruji. Lewis, a sophomore and former top-10 recruit, also might explore a professional future.
In addition, the playing status of forward Keyontae Johnson remains uncertain. The SEC’s preseason Player of the Year, Johnson collapsed on the court Dec. 12 at Florida State. After Johnson recovered from the harrowing incident, doctors did not clear him to play the rest of the season.